An advert of a businessman designed to encourage black and Asian people to get the Covid-19 vaccine was rejected by Facebook for which the social media company has apologised.
The aim of placing the advert by Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones was raising awareness about the importance of being vaccinated and the content contained a picture of him while receiving the vaccine.
However Facebook rejected his efforts to promote the post on the platform as the social media said that the content of the post was “shocking”.
While admitting that it had made a mistake, Facebook said that it had since approved the advert.
“Our team processes millions of posts and images daily and occasionally we make a mistake. We have restored the ad and apologise to Mr Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones for any inconvenience caused,” said a spokesman of the company.
The Black Farmer, a firm selling meats and deli products from his Devon farm, is run by Emmanuel-Jones.
He had posted his picture of getting a vaccine jab last week pm his personal Facebook page. He told the local media that he wanted to “do something more to raise awareness” and reach out to a larger audience.
“I have a high profile within the black community and there is a real issue with black and Asian people getting the vaccines, so I thought that there needs to be a counter to the anti-vax brigade,” he said in a television interview.
To reach a wider audience, Emmanuel-Jones decided to use a boosted post which is the simplest method to put an advertisement on Facebook. The difference of boosted posts from other Facebook adverts because is that such posts are not created in its advertising management tool Ads Manager and are devoid of the same customisation features as those made in the Ads Manager.
A user has to decide three things while boosting a post – the intended target audience, the budget and the duration for which the ad will run.
The outcome of a boosted post is labelled as an advert when displayed in the news feed and is posted only after approval by Facebook.
Emmanuel-Jones posted his vaccination picture on The Black Farmer Facebook business page with the caption: “Just had my first vaccine everyone! The organisation is amazing. This is the #NHS at its best!”
He included the hashtags #theblackfarmer #stayhome #protecttheNHS #savelives
But Facebook did not approve the advert and sent a message to Emmanuel-Jones explaining the decision which said adverts “must not contain shocking, sensational, inflammatory or excessively violent content”.
But that same post was accepted on Instagram.
A similar post about Black History Month had been previously created by Emmanuel-Jones and he had no issues in doing so. He also ran a number of traditional ads for his business on the social media platform.
Facebook had rejected one advert that showed raw sausages in a pan which Emmanuel-Jones believed had been misinterpreted by Facebook’s systems.
Emmanuel-Jones described the process of being rejected has being frustrating.
“However Facebook is sorting out content, it is making some fundamental mistakes,” he said
(Adapted from BBC.com)